Someone explain please Why cardcounting?

Discussion in 'Skilled Play - Card Counting, Advanced Strategies' started by ccibball50, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. ccibball50

    ccibball50 Well-Known Member

    As of lately, I have become somewhat discouraged about card counting. No I am not going to quit anytime soon because it is what I like to do in my spare tmie.

    Lets say I have a $1 mill. bankroll, how much money could I potentially make a year without getting caught? How much with 100K?

    To be a good AP, takes time and dedication and a devoteness to learn. It takes strategic planning, development of philosophies, and strategies on the field all of which are different depending on the the game being played and the attributes of the game, the type of casino and the amount of heat. I could go on and on. Anyone with the dedication and desire to learn how to properly count cards and successfully implement its strategies to a point where he or she is making money, would be better off using his or her skills elswhere. What I mean with elsewhere is that you could be making much more money at a different job that requires a certain set of skills.

    I first became interested in BJ becasue of the MIT team years ago. I thought Hey I could make 200k or 300k easily with the right bankroll. If this is true, who as of current is doing this?

    I have come to the conclusion that if I want to make good money playing BJ, then it is imperative to have a team who is as dedicated as I.

    I have also been told and read that a BJ player needs to learn poker as well. Why? it seems to me that I should just play poker then and forget about BJ.

    The only reason I have come up with for counting cards are.
    1. its a hobbie and money is not the reason I play
    2. Retired, collecting retirement and doing this on the side for a little extra cash
    3. Plans to create a team in hopes of making large amounts of cash.

    I am not writing this to down card counting. I want opinions and examples. I would love to be disproven. How many people have actually made over 100k couting cards in one year?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  2. callipygian

    callipygian Well-Known Member

    I contest that anyone has ever made this much money in a year by card counting. Think of it this way: look at what the fabled MIT team members are doing now - after they graduated, they accepted standard engineering/software jobs. None of them retired. None of them were wealthy prior to the book being published. I'd even venture to guess that they, like Stanford Wong, made far more money by writing popular books than they ever made by card counting.

    There may be a few investors who made millions by funding the teams, but keep in mind they didn't actually count cards - they just funded the venture. For every million a team of 10 won, the investor would get $500,000, and each of the team members would get roughly $50,000. So even playing on a team that makes a million a year isn't going to do much better than a college-degree job.

    I bet there are more dealers who made over $100,000 a year than there are players who made over $100,000 a year. If you want to make $100,000 off of the casinos, the quickest way is to go to dealer school, become the best dealer possible, and get hired at one of the top casinos.

    My opinion is that there are three reasons to count cards.

    (1) It's fun to you and the money is irrelevant.

    (2) You enjoy the freedom and self-reliance of professional gambling, even if you could make more money by sitting in a cube, and you have a solid bankroll.

    (3) You're playing seriously in order to move towards (2) but still have a solid job to support you until you can fully commit.
  3. bjcount

    bjcount Well-Known Member

    Here's some things for you to think about:
    1) Go start a business.
    McDonalds 800k-1000k to walk in the door. Your annual salary that you can pull out of your own business and still stay afloat maybe $100K/yr and thats really pushing it. That's why McDonald owners have partners and own a few franchises. How many hrs a week are you going to put in, 70+ = $27/hr. Maybe over time, if the store makes it and you want to keep putting in those hrs it will pay off.

    Dunkin Donuts 200k-400k to walk in, I bet you wont get close to 100k and still put in the same hrs. That's why many DD owners own 4,5,6,7+ locations and put in a lot of hrs.

    How about a small specialty shop.. How many owners do you know are really raking in the bucks, I can tell you for a fact, many are not, their living on the edge and in this economy they will be lucky to make it.

    Okay so your great with your hands, you want to build a construction company. 100k to invest, how much can you do yourself? You want to grow, more money for insurance, labor, tools, equipment, etc... get the picture.

    You have a good job paying say 75k. How many donuts and coffee, or dresses, or Hamburgers do you have to sell to pay yourself 75k, pay for medical insurance, pay your business insurance, etc. If you can't guess I'll give you a hint, at least 750K worth.

    Your making 100k, love your job, don't have to worry about feeding the families of your employees, paying the companies bills, worrying about keeping the sales flowing, new customers, etc., just do the best you can at your job.

    So now you have a slew of hobbies and as you get older you may not be able to do all the ones you like so much or have the time to do them all.
    You have say 20k-30k saved up. It really won't grow too much on it's own so you want to help it along.

    You study, you read, you practice, and you become pretty good at counting cards. You decide to invest your 20k in yourself so you practice harder, study harder, and buy the best tools available to teach yourself as much as you can.

    Now you've learned through some of the tools you have studied with that your perfect play over the long road can possibly earn you $28/hr with a betting strategy within your current BR. So your ready, you make a plan, just like you would a business plan when you bought a McDonalds or DD, and you set out to take them on. You decide that 6hrs per weekend is all you want to invest of your time, so over the long road thats $168/ weekend.

    Now if you play just 48 weeks/yr = $8,064/yr. Ok so you don't win every weekend only 50% of the time = $4,032/yr.

    So you started with 20k and in 1 yr it's now 24k. Not a bad return, and you still have your full time job. Keep compounding the returns year after year and see how big that number becomes.

    Now of course we all know that it's impossible to have positive results year after year. Tell me what businesses have positive results year after year. Tell me how many stock traders, option traders, etc., have positive results year after year. Many of them go bankrupt. We as counters may do the same too, but if you never try, you will never know if you have what it takes.

  4. celadore

    celadore Well-Known Member

    I think you should treat it as a hobby and forget about trying to make it a full time career. 100k a year would require an enormous bankroll and/or thousands of hours at the tables. This is going to increase your chances of getting caught.

    Team play is difficult as well. Even if you could find players dedicated as you, how much will you be able to trust them? Let's say a team of five. You'll need to be making 500k a year so you can each earn 100k. Big action for me.

    I think of blackjack as a high risk investment. I have about $20k committed to this venture now ($15k profit). I expect a 30% annual return for my money playing only part time. That's $6k a year. I have an EV of $30 an hour, which means 200 hours a year, a measly 4 hours a week. Next year I'll have an investment of $26k, so I'll increase my hours to maintain a 30% ROI).

    At the same time, I have my funds invested in a 12% flexible investment, that's going to get me an extra $2,400 a year appox. More as I keep adding to the pot.

    Now, that's a long way off a $100k a year. It's not even $10k this year.

    However, I worked out that if I never spend any money from my bankroll, continue to win 30% of my bankroll every year and put it in a 12% flexible investment, in 6 years time I will be making $100k a year from both my investment and blackjack, and in 9 years time I will be making $100k from just my 12% flexible investment.

    I know that there are some major flaws with this theory, but it's something to think about. Not bad for a part time hobby, and don't forget that the day-job is making the moola as well :grin:

    Now if only I could find a way for the wifey to stop spending my money :confused:
  5. ccibball50

    ccibball50 Well-Known Member

    I know all about running a business. I do it every day. $168 a weekend is pocket change for just about anyone. Now if you change that to 1680 dollars a weekend, then that changes things a bit.

    Obviously if I were to start a team, I would eventually want to be an investor making the bulk of the money. I can work weekends and make more money than I can counting cards.

    There has to be a better way. Somewhere outside the box. Surely this many people would not be counting cards just to live in poverty. I am willing to put in 40 hours a week, but at that rate, you burn all the casinos out.
  6. shadroch

    shadroch Well-Known Member

    Its a hard way to make an easy living, thats for damn sure.
    I play blackjack because I enjoy it and I count because I prefer waiting on the cashiers line rather than the ATM line. I don't obsess over counting and knowing that one particular indice is worth 30 cents per $100 bet, but it occurs about every 230 hands. Armed with my almost limitless supply of match plays,I do alright for myself. This trip I've decided to play a good deal of 50 play VP to see how I enjoy that, because my last trip BJ was a bit of a grind.No pun intended.
  7. celadore

    celadore Well-Known Member

    I think you have an unrealistic view and expectation of card counting. As far as I am aware, the majority of card counters do it part-time to supplement their income. They are not living in poverty as it is not their main source of income. Card counters play with slim advantages and no guarantees of winning as we fight to get into the long run.

    I doubt there are more than a hand full of full time card counters, and I'm sure that those that are out there don't want to reveal their secrets/methodologies for fear of jeopardising their livelihoods. They will undoubtedly have gone way beyond simple card counting and into the magical realm of shuffle tracking and deck splicing.

    Have you even for one second considered the difficulties in recruiting and managing a team? Not to mention the fact that as soon as they make enough money, forget you - they'll invest in themselves and fund their own play. You need to be in a unique position to form a team. Ready access to raw talent who you can cultivate into loyal players. This will take years.

    If you want to form a team from existing counters, you can bet they already have some money of their own and won't be too keen on just handing over a large chunk of their winnings to some stay at home investor, when they can just fund themselves from the start.

    You're leaving in a dream world buddy.
  8. Rub

    Rub Member

    Well you can try Craps if you want.
    "I make my living strictly by playing craps. If I had to rely on luck to overcome this negative-expectancy game, I'd be a pauper living under an overpass. Instead, I rely on my ability to "derandomize" the game every time that I pick up the dice.

    I have been playing the game this way since 1990. My worst year since turning professional still managed to produce a net profit of $100,000. Recent years have proven to be even more lucrative as I've developed my dice-influencing abilities well beyond what they were when I first started out.

    The person who said that is making atleast 100k per year, which is what you are looking for, right? :cool:
  9. kewljason

    kewljason Well-Known Member

    Personally, I feel this statement is only partially true. If you are referring to full time counters making 100K/year, then yes, I concur 100 percent. However, I know quite a few counters such as myself that do play full time and are making 25k to 40K a year. If you need to make 100k/year, this probably means you have a family to support, a mortgage, several car payments, and college tuition to save for, then this probably isnt the best time in your life for this venture. Not only is 100K per year difficult (but not impossible) in this day and age, but to do so would take one away from family quite a bit.
    However, for someone 26 years old, with no college education, not married, no children, no mortgage, who enjoys travel and restuarants, 30K a year and 75-80 comped nights in a hotel, hundreds of free meals is a very enjoyable experience. :)
  10. ccibball50

    ccibball50 Well-Known Member

    You have some valid points. I am building from the ground up and will be the majority of the bank roll. I understand supplimenting you income with bj, however the problem is the amount of time you are aloud to play due to heat. I am not saying that everyone is at poverty level, and I do not have a family. But my potential is much greater elswhere unless I can make over 100k, and even then it still may not be worth it.

    The problem is that there is an end. No one, or at least anyone I have heard of can bring home major wins and not get caught in the long run. That is why I have currently backed off for the time being and decided to wait to try hit it big time. If I can last 2 or 3 years and make 300k, then Its worth it to me as apposed to scratching 20k or 30k a year for 20 years.

    And everyone talks about how hard it is to create a good team. I agree. Low risk, low reward. High risk, high reward. Thats the way it is in the business world.
  11. ccibball50

    ccibball50 Well-Known Member

    I agree to an extent. It is fun for a short time. However, regardless of education, you can make more money in the long run by getting a good job and working your way up. You could have benefits with retirement, dental, health, etc. From what I understand, bj is getting more difficult, and there are fewer beatable games every year on average. the technology is making it more difficult. What this means is that you will probably make less money in the future unless you can find a nitch.

    In my opinion, it is not about how much money you can make an hour if you can't play 40 hours a week.

    I am not putting bj down, I love the game and will continue to play it seriously, but as a hobbie. I love to travel, and I love to go to the casinos. I will vacation at casino's and play bj probalby for as long as I can, but it has to take a back seat to my job, becasue there is no huge potential unless I create a team.

    Fairly soon, a good AP player will be visiting, and I hope to learn some valuable info when he comes.
  12. ccibball50

    ccibball50 Well-Known Member

    I have another question. I cannot remember where I read it, but in one book I read, it said you can play a game with about a 1 percent advantage spreading from 2-1 and using like 50 indeces in good SD game. I know that there are casinos that offer good games, however from what I understand, they are highly watched and have way too much heat on them. But with a spread that low, could it be playable long term? Say the SD game has a 5000 max and you played 2500 as your base unit.

    If this were true, then an average size bet of about 4000 playing heads up with 200 hands/hr would yield about 8k an hour. If you could hit different casinos up for about 100 hours during the course of a year, you could make some good money.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  13. gibsonlp33stl

    gibsonlp33stl Well-Known Member

    Where in the world are you investing your money, with a flexible 12% return?!?!?! Have you checked those stocks lately? Is your fund ran by a Mr. Bernie Madoff?
  14. shadroch

    shadroch Well-Known Member

    Perhaps Agape Financial? Yet another ponzi scheme unearthed here on Long Island. Only this one targeted middle class people. It's easy to offer 12% interest when you are planning on keeping the principle.
  15. SD Padres

    SD Padres Well-Known Member

    It's really just a matter of what makes you happy and what kind of income do you need to support yourself and your family. Personally, I would much rather make $40k from counting cards than $100k working some corporate BS job.
    But that's just me. The independence of counting cards for a living is one of the may aspects that is so appealing. Not working for the man.
    If you needed / wanted to earn $100k it becomes more difficult as a solo player. That's probably where team play would be a better fit. Get bigger bets down in higher counts and maintain low profile with team play techniques and strategies.
  16. Billy C1

    Billy C1 Well-Known Member

    I understand what you're saying but that 60k difference in income is very substantial.

    Billy C1
  17. celadore

    celadore Well-Known Member

    Firstly, I don't live in the USA.
    This is a private deal that our extended family has negotiated with our bank. It is quite common for a lot of people in our country, although most are only offered 8-10%. $ exchange rate has been fairly stable for the last 15 years.
    Last month my uncle withdrew $1 million from Canada to put it in this account here. So you can see I'm pretty much just along for the ride. Beyond that I would prefer not to get into any details.

    Even in today's economic climate, there are plenty of decent yielding investments out there. Of course most of those are for long term investments. There are also plenty of private ventures which return 15-25% annual yields, but once again more fixed term. They are also more risky and with limited investment opportunities. Got to make that money work.
  18. gibsonlp33stl

    gibsonlp33stl Well-Known Member

    From what I've heard it's not just the US that has a tanking economy...

    But typically if something is too good to be true than it's either false, or highly illegal. I'm not saying yours is, but it seems pretty sketchy...
  19. callipygian

    callipygian Well-Known Member

    There are more ways to (legally and morally) make money from the stock market than waiting for the stock market to go up. Short selling, for example, is a great way of making money when stocks are headed down.

    Given people who know their stuff and have all possible tools at their disposal, it's quite reasonable to consistently beat the stock market as a whole long-term. That's the whole concept of hedge funds.
  20. SD Padres

    SD Padres Well-Known Member

    Absoulutley! If I needed 100k to sustain my current economic obligations, then without question the safety of a guaranteed paycheck is crucial.

    But for many - living on 40k and not doing the 9-5 thing can be very rewarding.

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